All good things must come to an end.
The Blackhawks announced on Tuesday morning that they have relieved head coach Joel Quenneville of his duties, who will forever go down as one of the greatest coaches in Chicago sports history.
Quenneville guided the Blackhawks to nine playoff appearances, five Conference Finals and three Stanley Cups in 10-plus seasons with Chicago. He compiled a 452-249-96 record in 452 regular-season games and 76-52 record in the postseason, and became the second winningest coach ever with 890 wins.
But after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2007-08 and losing five in a row (0-4-1) following a 6-2-2 start, the Blackhawks are moving in a different direction and named Jeremy Colliton the 38th coach in franchise history. The Blackhawks also parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson, but the rest of the coaching staff will remain with the team.
Statement from Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz:
“The Chicago Blackhawks front office has made a decision to release Joel Quenneville from his head coaching duties, doing so with my full support. As Chicago Blackhawks fans have seen over the last decade, this organization no longer shies away from making tough decisions or ones based on emotion. Those days are long behind us. Of course, Joel’s was difficult, as it should have been. During his tenure as head coach to the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel brought the city of Chicago and our fans three Stanley Cups and an incredible era of hockey.
When Joel was originally hired into our 2008 season, we had great hope for his potential to take the team to new levels. He went beyond what anyone expected. As difficult as that decision in 2008 was, this one was tougher. But as we look to a future history not yet defined, we believe the change we made today, will provide the Chicago Blackhawks a critical element in achieving our goals of Championships in the future, including this season.
I wish Joel and his family well and thank him for his incredible leadership and results. Nothing will ever take away the success he brought our franchise, our fans and my family. Joel will forever be etched into the most memorable era in Chicago Blackhawk hockey. And for that, we will always be connected and always eternally grateful.”
Statement from Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough:
“This was an extremely difficult decision, given our respect for Joel and all that he has brought to the Chicago Blackhawks organization the last 10 years. His leadership during three Stanley Cup championships speaks for itself and there is no way to adequately express what he has meant to this organization. He will always be a significant member of the Blackhawks family. We have a deep appreciation for how he helped establish our standard and the Blackhawks culture and certainly wish he, Kevin and Ulf only the best in their future.”
Statement from Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman:
“This is certainly a very difficult decision. But I believe it is in the best interests of the Blackhawks organization. We need to maximize each and every opportunity with our playoff goals in mind and create continued growth and development throughout our roster at the same time. After much deliberation the last several days, with great respect to what Joel has meant to the Blackhawks, we knew we had to make a change. Along with our appreciation for everything Joel has accomplished for our franchise, we also thank Kevin and Ulf for their many contributions and wish them success in the future.
We are extremely fortunate to have Jeremy Colliton in the Blackhawks organization and feel strongly that he is best positioned to continue leading our players here in Chicago. All of those associated with Jeremy strongly believe he possesses many of the tools that will make him a successful head coach in this league. He has been very impressive as a communicator, a leader, and coach. He knows the Blackhawks system, understands our players and our culture and we believe he gives us the best opportunity to have success and grow as a team.
Colliton becomes the youngest head coach in the NHL at 33 years of age. He led the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League to a 40-28-4-4 record in his first year as head coach in 2017-18 and guided the club to their first-ever Western Conference Finals.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.